The Treaty of Waitangi – Before it was signed
Kia ora, My Name is Swaimah and today I will be talking to you about before the treaty of Waitangi. Did you know that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 and was an agreement between the British Crown and a large number of Māori chiefs. How do you feel about the Māori people and the British people signing the treaty of Waitangi? To be honest I think it was quite incredible because I have never seen people from different countries accepting to make a treaty for a land or country. On 6 February 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands by Captain William Hobson, several English residents, and between 43 and 46 Māori rangatira.
Burgeoning trade marked early contact between the peoples. Whalers, sealers and ship-builders who plundered forests for masts, interacted with coastal Maori villagers. Soon timber, flax and trading blossomed too. A relationship of coexistence developed – the Europeans relied on Maori for provisions and access to valuable resources; Maori wanted European goods such as scissors, mirrors, nails, blankets, tobacco and – later – muskets. Misunderstandings, however, occurred and murder bloodied the land. Late in 1809, the ship Boyd arrived in Whangaroa Harbour to collect a cargo of timber spars.
Later they attacked and burned the ship. A whaling ship arrived to exact revenge but wrongly attacked villagers of a chief who had tried to help. The incident represented the worst aspects of those early contacts – the Boyd crew did not know local Maori were suspicious of Europeans after an earlier ship visit led to a disease outbreak. The cannibalism set back perspectives of Maori as a noble race. In an act of utu (revenge) local Maori lured the captain ashore where they murdered and ate him and other crew. On board a young chief, Te Ara, had complained of mistreatment during the voyage from Sydney.
Perhaps the Maori leader who most fearlessly welcomed trade and contact with Europeans was Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika. in 1814, he travelled to Sydney and in 1820 he and young chief Waikato set off to England on board the whaling ship, New Zealander. Accompanied by missionary Thomas Kendall, He spent 5 months in London and Cambridge. He assisted Professor Samuel Lee to compile the first Maori English dictionary, wowed many with his intelligence, personality and his moko was introduced to King George IV. The trip almost enabled Hika to amass a stockpile of guns which tipped the balance of inter-tribal power.
A crass commercial deal struck between Captain William Stewart, commander of the brig Elizabeth, and Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha was a tipping point leading the colonial Government in New South Wales to become convinced Britain needed a stronger official presence in New Zealand. For the price of a cargo of flax, Stewart agreed to transport a Ngati Toa war party from their base in Kapiti Island to Banks Peninsula for an attack on Ngai Tahu. Stewart invited Te Maiharanui aboard where he was ambushed by Te Rauparaha and his men. Bloodshed followed when Te Maiharanui’s village was attacked.
I feel like I’ve learned a lot today from this writing assignment. I really enjoyed reading some interesting facts about before the treaty of waitangi was signed. How do you feel about the early 1800s? I actually found it interesting because Maori people wanted the Europeans goods such as scissors, mirrors, nails, baskets, tobacco and more. Next time hopefully I get to do this writing again but, about after the treaty of Waitangi was signed. This is where I found all my information from: NZ Hearld. I hope you guys really enjoyed my Writing and hope you guys come back again. Ka kite!